Edward Snowden

Matthew Gustitis 5


Ed Snowden has held many jobs working for U.S. government intelligence agencies; he served as a senior adviser in the CIA, an infrastructure analyst for NSA, telecommunication information systems officer, and much more. After a couple of years working for the NSA, Snowden became appalled by the mass intrusion of privacy upon U.S. citizens that the NSA performed in its everyday operations. In 2013, he disclosed classified information about NSA surveillance programs to the public and was charged with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property. Snowden absconded to Russia in 2013 to escape the powers of the U.S government.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

Connection to "Civil Disobedience"

In the Words of Edward Snowden: "Citizens with a conscience are not going to ignore wrong-doing simply because they'll be destroyed for it: the conscience forbids it." Henry Thoreau, in his essay "Civil Disobedience," implores the American public to critically analyze the wrong-doings of their government and take action against those transgressions. Thoreau claimed that men who fight for the good of the general populous by rebelling against their nefarious authority "serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it." These words could not be more applicable than in the case of Ed Snowden. Doing what he believed was equitable and auspicious for his country, Snowden showcased the malpractice of the U.S. government and was branded a criminal for it. Evidently, Snowden took Thoreau's words to heart when Thoreau suggests that the government should "encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them." In conclusion, Edward Snowden is a rebel in the terms set by Henry Thoreau because he acted upon his conscience and took steps to create what he believed was a better world.